Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite pantry items, my Garam Masala Spice Blend. It’s an exotic, warm, and heady spice blend that can be used in the base of many Indian dishes. Take a look at my video that shows you how easy it is to make. A hot skillet and a spice or coffee grinder is all you need!
What I’ve found with cooking is that there are usually as many recipes as there are cooks for certain dishes. The same is true with spice blends. Indian Garam Masala and different curry powders are perfect examples of this, too.
If you’re like me and like to know what goes in the foods you eat, this homemade take on an Indian spice blend is perfect.
I love Indian food and the many exotic spices used are so amazingly flavorful and holistic it adds to the mystique some have. Take Garam Masala for example. Garam literally means “hot” and Masala means “mixture of spices” so this is a spice blend used often in my kitchen.
I like my dishes with big, bold flavors so it goes without saying I make this version often and store it in my pantry. See, store bought spices are often sitting in your pantry in big containers because they were a bargain, but their potency does have a shelf life.
This Garam Masala Spice Blend perfect in marinades like in my Butter Chicken and best sprinkled in curries towards the end of cooking as to not lose it’s potency and aromatic quality. I make this in small batches so these aromatic spice blends deliver the taste and flavor they were destined for in my kitchen.
Big bin markets like Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and the like all have these spices and small international markets as well. I buy them there and make my blends at home. Most of you probably have, or better yet should have in your kitchen, cinnamon sticks, coriander and cumin seeds, black peppercorns and bay leaves. While these are the most common, star anise, mace and cardamom seeds can be found at these markets in packages or bins and used to pep up your favorite Indian meals.
Let me show you how and realize, its all about toasting the spices first to help release their essentials oils, and grind to powder form in a coffee or spice grinder. Store the Garam Masala Spice Blend in small batches in an airtight container and store in your kitchen pantry. Trust me, it’s super easy, your dishes will ring with amazing new flavor and best part is – you made it yourself. The heady, warm and rich flavors these spices bring to a dish is so good.
If you’re like me and like to know what’s in the the food you eat, then make your own spice blends. I have lots of them for you to try like my Ras El Hanout, Lebanese Spice Mix and a Copycat Montreal Steak Seasoning to name a few.
This recipe post first appeared here on Kevin Is Cooking January 2016 and has updated copy, photos and a new video.
Garam Masala Spice Blend
- 1/2 cup cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 12 green cardamom pods
- 6 black cardamom pods
- 6 bay leaves
- 6 whole star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 nutmeg seed
- 1/2 tsp mace
- Toast all the spices in a cast iron skillet or other non stick pan over medium heat. Stir often and turn off the heat after spice gives off aromatic fragrance. Several minutes should do the trick. Don't burn!
- Allow to cool and grind in spice/coffee grinder or blender. Store in an airtight container.